Bremerton goes its own way in Olympia

BREMERTON — In one way, cities like Bremerton (and the five other Kitsap County cities) are no different than the citizens — in order to persuade the Washington State Legislature to see their point of view, they must lobby the legislators.

With funding and protection of new sources of financial resources at stake, Bremerton is getting ready to do battle in the state Legislature in Olympia.

Of the main issues that Bremerton will be focusing on in the state capital, all three involve either the protection or restoration of funding sources:

1. Cities want the state to distribute a portion of liquor taxes. This is not because cities want to get into the vice business.

“When a liquor store opens somewhere, the cities have to provide money for police and resources to manage a presence like that,” Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent said.

2. A portion of the marijuana tax, for similar reasons. The lucrative medical and private marijuana sales taxes are simply too good to leave on the table.

3. Asking the state to maintain the Public Works Trust Fund. This fund permits cities to take out a loan to finance public-works projects in that jurisdiction. These loans are available for just 1 percent — an unbeatable source of financing for critically needed projects like road maintainance, sewers and so forth. To date, no city that was granted a loan has ever defaulted on it.

But the state, desperate for money in its own right, decided several years ago to divert money from the Public Works Trust Fund to help them cover the budget gaps in the state’s general fund.

Peter King, executive director of the Association of Washington Cities — which advocates for all 281 cities in the state of Washington — told the Bremerton City Council at a work study/briefing Dec. 23 that a total of $1.2 billion has been diverted since 2009 — funds that would otherwise have been allocated to local public works/infrastructure projects.

In approaching this critical legislative session for the first time in three years, the City of Bremerton retained its own lobbyist to represent the city’s voice in Olympia. Bryan McConaghy now owns his own political consulting firm, but he once served on former U.S. Representative Norm Dicks’ staff, so he is familiar with the Bremerton halls of power.

The Bremerton City Council and the mayor will host a legislative retreat on Feb. 12, most likely in the City Council chambers. All members of the public are invited, but there is no open speaking session.

Mark Briant is a reporter with the Central Kitsap Reporter and Bremerton Patriot. He can be reached at mbriant@soundpublishing.com.

More in News

.
Trial is over, the judge to rule on That One Place case

$132,000 is at stake over Port Orchard restaurant’s alleged COVID-19 violations

Peace Run team members run through the halls of Kingston Middle School.
Runners tell Kingston students give peace a chance

The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, ( peacerun.org ) an international torch… Continue reading

.
Now in Kingston, he’s focusing on photography

Tim Davis is featured artist at Village Green through June

.
A congressman’s ‘Day in the Life’

6th District Rep. Kilmer chalks up busy days in Congress

.
15 SK students win Kiwanis Club scholarships

Scholarships given by Port Orchard service organization total $33,000

.
Local charcuterie catering business opens sandwich shop in Poulsbo

Women-owned business located on Viking Avenue

Poulsbo Public Works will soon be moving to its new property on Viking Avenue. Courtesy Photo
Generator to be designed for new Public Works building

Poulsbo also receives $75k grant for housing

Tyler Shuey/North Kitsap Herald photos
The pristine look of the property is always a priority at Kiana Lodge.
Delayed weddings due to COVID lead to record at lodge

Some are even taking place on weekdays

Most Read